Member Focus: Kevin Cain (Anchorage TRACON)
Friday, May 17, 2013
Air traffic control career: Hired Aug. 24, 1981. Worked at Anchorage Center, Bethel, Alaska, Flight Service Station, Bethel Tower, Fairbanks, Anchorage Tower/TRACON and A11.
Born and raised, other places of living: Born in Highland Park, Mich., raised in Hazel Park, Mich., both near Detroit. Spent four years in the Air Force in Texas, Illinois, Alaska and Michigan; resident of Alaska since 1980.
Education: Some college.
Family: Two brothers.
Q: How did you become a NATCA member?
A: I joined shortly after its inception, seeing that NATCA was making a difference for the better very quickly.
Q: Did you have any family union members?
A: My brother is a member of the American Postal Workers Union, and my late father was a member of the United Transportation Union.
Q: How did you get involved with NATCA? What positions do you hold and with what have you been involved?
A: I was asked to run for vice president at A11 in 1993. All positions have been at A11; vice president in 1993, FacRep in 1998, vice president in 2002, executive board in 2003, vice president in 2004, FacRep from late 2004 through 2005, vice president in 2009 and FacRep again from September 2009 through 2012. I'm currently the Alaskan Alternate Regional Vice President, and have been since September 2011.
Q: What made you decide to take on leadership roles within NATCA?
A: I wanted to help make a difference, and joining management was not an ethical option for me. I had decided years earlier not to take that path. When I was elected FacRep in 1998, the labor-management relationship atmosphere at A11 was worse than it was during the White Book era. That's when I learned to dig in, fight on behalf of the BUEs, and never give up. I also wanted to help make NATCA a stronger organization by being more involved.
Q: What does it mean to be an Alternate Regional Vice President? What are your duties and tasks?
A: I’m the formal point of contact for the Terminal District Manager and I deal with LR and the ETR (executive technical representatives) regularly along with Steve Munroe, the Alaskan Regional Vice President (RVP). I’m the NAL TRB terminal representative, I participate in PARs (pre-arbitration reviews), provide assistance to FacReps when asked and do whatever the RVP needs of me.
Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
A: I think the first convention is a very high point for all members. Also, prevailing for the first time at PAR over an Agency CBA (collective bargaining agreement) violation.
Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?
A: Get involved; don’t make excuses. Give all of yourself, your personal time for representation and some of your leave for training, conventions, CFS, etc. Know up front that the official time that representatives receive is never enough. It should be, but because of the way in which we must deal with management, so many layers of management, it’s not.
If all representatives were to stop giving so much of themselves then NATCA could no longer exist. Just think of the condition of the Agency today, and that’s with NATCA’s involvement. Now think of how the Agency would be run if NATCA ceased to be. To me, that’s terrifying.
Let's go beyond your involvement with NATCA:
My specialty meal to cook is: anything smoked or grilled.
My favorite sport is: hockey.
Dogs or cats? Both, but more partial to dogs.
NFL or NCAA Football? NFL.